Colorado Republican Senate nominee Ken Buck told a crowd at a forum in November 2009 that he strongly disagrees with the concept of separation of church and state, and that he was concerned that “we seem to be walking away from culture.” Then he repeated a debunked rumor about the Obama White House’s relationship with Christmas trees.
In a video obtained by Think Progress, Buck says that while he believes the Constitution prevents a government-sanctioned religion “it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion.” The full quote:
I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that’s sanctioned by the government, it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal. So I think there are cultural differences, I think there, we are as strong as we, our culture, our culture gives us our strength, I guess is the best way to put that. And, and I am worried about the fact that we seem to be walking away from culture. And, and one thing that President Obama has done that I would certainly speak about is calling the Christmas tree, which has historically been called a Christmas tree in Washington D.C., a holiday tree. It’s just flat wrong in my mind.
The Buck campaign did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
The TPM Poll Average for this race shows Buck leading Democrat Michael Bennet 47.9%-45.2%.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com